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Sunday, 24 August 2014, 16:00

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La Liga weekend preview

Barcelona's next assignment on their seemingly unstoppable march to the La Liga title is Saturday's visit to Granada - where they will be wary of slipping up like Real Madrid did two weeks earlier.

Last Updated: 15/02/13 at 09:14 Post Comment

Granada: Aiming to stop Barcelona this weekend

Granada: Aiming to stop Barcelona this weekend

Barca, who are 12 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, go into the contest at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes having won 20 of their 23 league games this season and suffered only one loss.

They will be mindful of the fact that Real suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the same ground on February 2, though, as new Granada boss Lucas Alcaraz made a dream start.

Since then the Andalusians, currently 15th, have also recorded a 3-0 victory at rock-bottom Deportivo La Coruna, and their on-loan forward Nolito is in confident mood ahead of the Barcelona match.

Nolito, who is on loan at Granada from Benfica until the end of the season, said: "We are preparing our normal game, as we prepared for Madrid and Deportivo.

"Football is 11 against 11. They can win, but some day they will have to lose, right? We have to play like we have been playing. Barcelona in a second can make a goal. We have to try to have more guts and outrun them."

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas feels the Catalan club have a "very complicated" fortnight ahead of them.

After the Granada game, Barca play AC Milan away in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, before hosting Sevilla and then taking on Real Madrid at home in the Copa del Rey and away in the league.

"The next two weeks are extremely important," Fabregas said. "It will be very complicated but we have to have the same confidence that we've had up until now."

Atletico Madrid are in action on Sunday evening at Real Valladolid, the same night that third-placed Real Madrid - who trail them by four points - are at home to sixth-placed Rayo Vallecano.

Most of Rayo's rivals for the other Champions League berth also play on Sunday, with fifth-placed Valencia facing second-bottom Real Mallorca at the Mestalla, seventh-placed Real Sociedad hosting Levante and Real Betis, in eighth, travelling to Espanyol.

Malaga - who currently occupy that crucial fourth spot - are at home against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, while in terms of the relegation scrap, Osasuna (17th) and Real Zaragoza (16th) go head-to-head in Pamplona that day and Celta Vigo (18th) are at Getafe.

Friday night's game is Deportivo's away clash with Sevilla.

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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